Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The step you should take to advance your career

CAREER ADVANCEMENT: How a master's degree can help
you become a better leader and manager
Career advancement typically involves taking on more sophisticated leadership and management responsibilities. These responsibilities require you to sharpen a skill set you might not yet have fully developed through your work experience.

For example, say you’re a CPA working at an accounting firm and you want to become a Senior Manager. This position requires you to have extensive technical knowledge, but also requires you to provide the accounting staff with counseling and career guidance, as well as formulate strategic and organizational plans. Earning a master’s degree that focuses on building your soft skills (such as the four Cs -- communication, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration) can help bridge this gap.

This is the cornerstone of the Organizational Leadership & Management program that Peirce is launching this fall. In this type of broad-based program, students typically take courses in areas such as finance, marketing, human resources, communication, teaming, and motivation. These are areas that any successful leader should be agile in, whether you’re just starting out in your career or have 20 years of experience.

Today we wanted to provide insight into how a degree program like this can help you, no matter where you are in your career.

If you’re an entry-level worker, you probably have little experience in your field and just recently graduated with your bachelor’s degree. Although you’re just starting out, a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership & Management can help you gain fundamental competencies in areas common to all organizations and professions. These skills will be essential for you to take the next steps in your career progression.

If you’re an intermediate-level worker, you’ve demonstrated proficiency with entry-level job functions and responsibilities. You can teach these skills to others, and may supervise entry-level employees. To get to the next level in your career, you’ll need higher level strategic management and technical skills, which you can get through courses in our MSOLM program, including our courses in Strategic Human Resource Management, Strategic Management and Finance, and Leading Project Management Strategy.

If you’re a middle manager, you might be a supervisor or department head. You probably oversee intermediate and entry-level employees, and are responsible for department objectives and goals. To move into upper management, you’ll need to refine your existing management skills with an eye toward continued professional development and application. Our courses are designed to help you bolster these, while also improving your skill in managing departments to help you contribute to overall organizational productivity and efficiency.

If you’re in upper management, you have many years of experience in the field. You are apt at managing others, and often delegate responsibilities to middle managers. If you want to become an executive, you need to demonstrate your ability as a leader to set directions for the organization and to manage processes that lead to successful outcomes. Taking courses in System Dynamics, Transcendent Leadership, and Leading Culturally and Generationally Diverse Populations can help improve your skill set and demonstrate your proficiency to help you move up in your career trajectory.

For more information, take a look at the in-depth posts we’ve written about the specific program we offer. You can learn how it will benefit adult learners and what the application process is like. If you have any other question, feel free to email me.